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May 5th, 2010
02:46 PM ET

Oil spill puts Gulf Coast tourism in limbo

Marnie Hunter
CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/TRAVEL/05/05/gulf.beaches.tourism/c1main.bird.irpt.jpg caption=""Wait and see" seems to be the mantra for travelers and businesses getting ready for high season on the Gulf Shore's popular beaches" width=300 height=169]

"Wait and see" seems to be the mantra for travelers and businesses getting ready for high season on the Gulf Shore's popular beaches.

Tammy Messmer and her family have made a tradition of traveling from Missouri to enjoy the pristine white sand and emerald waters of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, but an amorphous mass of oil looming offshore has the family worried.

"We're still on the fence," said Messmer, 38. "We're praying and hoping that they get this under control."

If the oil comes ashore, the family may have to cancel a June visit and head to the beach on the other side of Florida, Messmer said.

"If it does hit the beach, we can't take the kids there. It would be kind of a wasted trip because that's what they like to do is play on the beach."

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
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